Developed by Indie Leikir Studio and published by Neko Entertainment, Isbarah is a cross-genre of bullet hell and platformer style, it’s a hardcore 2D game and each level is a duel boss fight. In this title, you have the standard platformer game controls and bosses will fight like in bullet hell games.
The story makes us play as Iria. She is a young, powerful and energetic goddess who takes pride in exercising her duties; she was born a warrior. She’s still credulous and lacks analytic thinking, but time will pass and she’ll being to see everyone for who they really are and not who they pretend to be. She must prevent the world from falling into chaos, her father rules it with an iron fist – and Iria is his only weapon and shield; he uses her to harshly punish anyone that bends the law, and there is no mercy granted.
Isbarah is bound to the imaginary world that all humans fantasize of – encapsulating all their dreams and nightmares into. Every single thought made by human beings contributes to the shape and size of this world, creating an ever-changing universe full of creatures and landscapes. These creatures are called The Designs; they all have different shapes and their behavior depends on the people who have created them.
Alongside these creatures, there lives also The Designless. These creatures are only concepts, they haven’t been fully created by humans. These Designless creatures are desperate to evolve and become full Designs, therefore, they are constantly infecting other full Designs to become more powerful and eventually takeover their shapes.
If you are one of those who complaints about games being to easy, specially compared to the NES days, give Isbarah a try. In this title you must beat 18 bosses divided in 6 chapters, boss rush style. Isbarah throws away the idea of having to go through stages to finally fight the bosses, and simply tosses you into the fights instead and the story is told through short comic strips between each level. You may be thinking: but those stages prepare you and make you practice your abilities for the fight. Well, here you don’t, but you won’t feel under prepared either.
Iria is armed with three awesome and necessary abilities that help evening the odds. Iria’s abilities are:
- Slow Motion: Will enable a time slow down in order to give the player time to analyze the situation around them and make a wise move.
- Dash: This ability allows you to make fast moves to any direction with perfect precision.
- The Barrier: you can use it as a shield or a platform, whether to protect yourself or to help you climb higher.
The title features a good amount of bosses which include a fireball-spamming werewolf, the Grim Reaper’s son and his skeleton butler, the Bird of Time, and the living embodiment of the Wrath of Nature and many others. Each of these bosses has its own unique gimmick to its fight; for example, one of them can create zones where everything it goes through is sped up, other can throw unlockable projectiles, you name it. There is a good amount of patterns to memorize if want to beat the challenge.
The difficulty as stated is hard, even in the lower settings, but if you are really good at it you can the hardest mode named the 7th Hell which gives which bosses an extra hit and makes them even more unpredictable. You will also be able to unlock bonus challenges that will make these fights even harder.
The fights are divided in a few phases. You’ll be platforming around the arenas, avoiding the bosses themselves and their attacks, as you dash into three rail guns scattered across the place. Doing so will charge them up to damage the boss’ shields and, after three successful attempts, the boss enters bullet hell mode, which is where things get extremely sadistic. While trying to survive, the boss attempts to defeat you by throwing everything at you, and you’ll finally be able to damage it. Dashing into the boss during this phase will recover one piece of health and is also extremely satisfying. All of this will be combined with heavy metal music pumping you through the entire fight.
Isbarah is an insanely difficult title. It is a recommended title to any bullet hell fan or someone looking for a serious challenge. This a game where you can take up pride after beating it and will also be rewarded with scenarios that bring out a sentiment of satisfaction that is simply amazing.